As mentioned before, while living in the Micro Pad, either Light Rail line (Blue or Yellow) went to BOTH of my stops. The move restricted me to the Yellow line, which meant waiting for a while for my off-peak trains = sucks! And the the time change, Light Rail home was NOT an option. The House actually sits directly equidistant between a PATH station and a Light Rail station … a 20min walk in either direction. I started to ride the Light Rail into work & the PATH home, if nothing else to use up my Light Rail tickets in the morning. The evening trip home opened my eyes to all sorts of delights!
The walk between the PATH station & the House runs along a main 4-lane thoroughfare. As such, it is VERY busy at all hours. And very LOUD! With 2 medical centers at either end plus Firehouses at regular intervals, the sirens go non-stop. The route home takes me by, in order: fast food, large drug stores & shops. Then bodega-style places of various ethnicity & restaurants. Then comes the 1st pseudo-residential section; mostly older homes that have been converted by Indian professionals (Doctors, Accountants, Lawyers, Insurance salespeople, etc.). After that – with the exception of a university – it is ALL Apartment buildings, of varying condition. With the variety of tenants that go with them … some of which I go out of my way to avoid!!!
So after the few weeks in the Micro Pad, I hooked up with an old friend who owns a house in Town. He & his wife work down a few towns to the south and moved into a house owned by someone who moved to Bermuda. They commute back into Town for weekends & I planned on heading up North to the family on weekends – works out perfect!
The 1st time coming out to the house, I took the Light Rail out a couple stops farther than normal … not a big deal. That is until I emerged from the train.
The neighborhood down there … well, without sounding bad … is very black. The white guy with grey hair, pulling his valued possessions in a suitcase stood out like a sore thumb. Lucky for me all I got were some questioning looks!
As I had bought a Month’s Pass for the HBLR, I stuck it out. Since I got moving early, only families walking to school were around in the mornings & it was still Daylight Savings, so at night the sun was still up. But that first walk home after dark changed my mind. At every intersection, there was at least one Cadillac parked, tunes pumping & a crew wandering around with Brown Bag Beers. No one gave me sh1t, but all of them stopped to watch me walk by!
Time to test out the NJ PATH train.
While being solo in Bermuda the past many months, my schedule has been Early morning to Late Night. Most of the reason was ( as noted in the past ) that I was avoiding Rush Hour on Harbour Road + getting a workout in the evening.
First few commutes in NJ, that was easy when at the Micro Pad … Light Rail was 200 yards away & stops directly in front of my building. That is until I had to go in a bit later one morning, after binge-watching Vikings the night before 🙂
I get to the platform groggy & slugging, climb on the next train and I’m met with shrieking, yelling & cursing. WTF? I say – the sources of this cacophonous barrage? School GIRLS! F-ing each other off, calling eachother Pu-y and Nigg-r & Cu-t. I was totally blown away.
Welcome to New Jersey, Bermie Boy!
Before settling on a specific location in this vast area, I started digging around for a short-term option … and found AirBNB.com – GREAT site, cool graphics too! Found a little place maybe 200 yards from one of the NJ commuter trains the very long-winded Hudson-Bergen Light Rail which winds through eastern New Jersey from Bayonne to Union City.
Great setup, cars are efficient, timetables are fairly well adhered to & no weather-related problems (usually). I also had the added benefit of travelling between 2 common stops on the 2 different Routes, so it didn’t matter which train I hopped.
HOWEVER … and you knew that was coming! … each ‘train’ operates only 2 cars. This is acceptable for MOST times of day, but during Rush Hour they are crammed! And the only protection from the elements on the platforms are a short cover & several glass walls (approx 15′ x 12′) … with 24″ gaps at the bottom! What friggin use is that??? Anyway, during the late Summer & Fall – and while I was in my temp. location – it suited my needs perfectly.
At an unbalanced point in the universe in August, yours truly decided that being closer to the 2 (not-so-little-anymore) Young Wookettes outweighed being solo … in Bermuda … making $$$ … did I mention solo?
Step 1: Find a job. Lucky for me, something appeared on the Internal board for the company; not the same function but close enough.
Step 1a: Commute from up north (where Fam is) or stay local; Local is the call for now.
Step 2: Find a crash pad; Temp one found (on AirBNB.com – great site)
Step 3: Figure out both local travel + travel northwards; Took some time, but it gelled eventually!!!
* * * Transition Time: The Wookie has left the building * * *
Quick note of transition … having left the Sunny Isle 6 months ago, I am no longer the definitive expert on Bermuda Commuting. I AM however, the newest member of the New York/New Jersey Mass Transit Riders Union. This is a most powerful entity here in the Tri-State area, with many enviable powers like completely ignoring dead bodies on trains, total oblivion using noise-cancelling listening devices & preventing train door closures.
This is the beginning of a NEW Journey for your hairy scribe – you will not be disappointed!!
Saying “Harbour Road” and “Rush Hour” in the same sentence tends to bring a variety of reactions from Bermuda Motorists. Most roll their eyes or shake their head, and for good reason. It is – bar none – the WORST PART of any commute in Bermuda. How do I know this, you ask? He of Bailey’s Bay ilk for approaching 20 years? Let’s just say the living arrangements for the Family Wookie have been … erm … altered recently. I am now West of Town, which was NOT my 1st choice, that’s for sure.
Regardless, there is NO WAY IN HELL commuting down Harbour Road in either Rush Hour is going to happen to me! If I ain’t out of the rack by 6:00-6:30 and on the road, then I will literally wait until 9:30-10:00 to test the waters. It is absolute mayhem & carnage! Bikes ripping around into the other lane, stopping oncoming traffic dead; 4-Wheelers up your ass OR passing you closely enough to nudge you with the Side Mirror; then East Broadway appears … you would think there was a NASCAR event being staged!!! People changing lanes 3X, 4X times in about 100 feet, bikes at full-tilt diving in & out of gaps (forcing ALL the traffic to quickly slow down).
I am truly amazed to see all that chaos. I must be getting old & crotchety or something, cause it is shocking to behold!